The Scatterbrained Syncretist








Wednesday March 19, 2003

Anne emailed this petition to cloudcuckooland:

Dear Friends and family, Today we are at a point of imbalance in the world and are moving toward what may be the beginning of a THIRD WORLD WAR. The UN is gathering signatures in an effort to avoid a tragic world event. If you want to help avoid this event, please COPY (rather than forward) this e-mail in a new message, sign at the end of the list, and send it to all the people who you know. If you receive this list with more than 500 names signed, please send a copy of the message to: and to

I replied:

This petition is a hoax. The UN is not gathering signatures.

More to the point, WW IV (WW III was the cold war) has been being fought for years on many fronts and in many countries around the world. This war has killed many in Pakistan/India/Kashmir, Russia/Chechnya, Indonesia, Philippines, Afghanistan, Israel/Palestinian territories, Algeria, Nigeria etc etc.

Furthermore, The Iraq war that started with the 1990 invasion of Kuwait and paused with the (totally violated) ceasefire agreement in 1991 has been fought continuously for the last ten years. This fighting has included Saddam's attacks against various Iraqi people and groups (such as the Marsh Arabs, Kurds and Shiites). Also, the war in Iraq has included the US/British enforcement of the "no fly zones"...pretty much weekly bombing for a decade. This bombing has increased by orders of magnitude in recent months.

Unfortunately, the effort to "avoid a tragic world event" was not made ten years ago when it might have prevented the "beginning" of this war. Those who declared war against us were not effectively opposed...and that encouraged them to escalate their attacks against us and others with a sense of impunity.

The expected Iraq invasion begins nothing. The American counter-offensive began with the removal of the Taliban from power in Afghanistan.

You may believe that we should not fight back against those who are attacking us and others. But there was no peace when that was our policy. The enemy is not interested in negotiating with us or changing our foreign policy. They say that they intend to destroy our liberal/democratic/capitalistic civilization...and their actions are consistent with their words.

Maybe you agree that our society should be destroyed. Maybe you think our way of life is not worth defending.

But if, like me, you think that our freedoms should not be extinguished, then you must also agree that they must be defended.

Perhaps you think that attacking Iraq is not our best option for defending those freedoms. But if you think that, you must think that there is a better option. Without suggesting what that could possibly be, opposition to our present course is...umm...pointless. In all of my reading, discussion and thinking, I have not been able to find a plausible plan for defense that does not involve actions like invading as much as I hate the idea of fighting war, I can't suggest an alternative plan. If you can't either, what do you hope to achieve by opposing our actions today?